Another day, another wilderness. That's the Home Ed way of life. Whether you take that literally or metaphorically - you know I don't care. Just this morning I'd checked the list of creatures we'd clocked on our last Bug Safari - a fair crop as usual. I am still refusing to go back to the lake to capture a pair of ex-not-so-ninja terrapins (apparently quite a population these days of these once discarded little charmers), despite daily pleas. Then there was last week's Woodfair World of Wonder. And this week we had Wilderness Woods - more bugs to spot, ponds to dip, frogs to terrify.... And my lardy arse just got lardier.
Bigger ones got to make a fence post - looked like it was just waiting for a vampire to saunter along. Little ones got to go into the scape of Xmas trees and shake 'em and see what poor little creatures fell out onto a sheet, scoop 'em up, show the man, drop them somewhere far, far from their once happy home, and tread on 'em. And grown-ups got to wander about, build dens - or in my case - plop down at the play area spread those buttocks a little wider.
I often warn 'Be careful what you wish for' and for YEARS I have wished to sit on my arse and yabber away to grown-ups without chasing small children with outstretched arms and outstretched mouth. I have now reached that hallowed place in my blessed life. And I am consequently hunch-backed, fat-arsed and ache all over.
I had taken an extra little chum with us and so found myself the meeting point for 5 busy nearly-humans. Rarely were any in the same vicinity as each other - so naturally it was me who had to be the constant. This also left me open to other bods asking if I could keep an eye on so-and-so while such-and-such and look out for that one while this one was..... Upshot = one lardy lazy lump. 4 (or 5?) hours later I finally wobble to my forgotten feet and round them all up to go and see the camp the 2 big ones (Minx and chum) had been working on all day with some friends and their mum and dad. We pass a couple of school-uniformed things on the way. Get to the camp and............... it's been totalled. Utterly destroyed. Hours of effort and joy strewn to the four winds. I now have ranting savages where I once had bouncing sprites. Roaring log-hurling required to appease the wronged gods of 'fair'.
Back home then. Not stopping for Mc Donalds on the way. I've ruined their lives!
2 days later - here we all are again. Food-stuffed rucksacks, macs round waists, back in another tangled woods. The objective is to get to some spring, say 'Ooh', pick berries for eager fruit leather experiments, eat picnic, find our way out again - and not step in any dog poo. But we are a band of outlaws. We don't do things by the book. What we do is follow the kids off in random directions - get pinned and punctured in brambles and holly whilst squeezing thro' grape-sized gaps in nature's knitting and sliding into streams with our boots on - albeit scrambling out again without them. Oh we 'ave a laugh. Hours of it.
We did eventually find the spring. Well, the kids did. The grown-ups were busy unzipping bags of food like we were extras on Tenko. Rocks, slippery slopes, water - yeah yeah whatever kids....where's me Twiglets....
We didn't find any berries, despite the rest of the country being laden, but we did spot hundreds of mushrooms and toadstools. And this was the religion of the day. This fungi-pointing has been a bit of a grower of late. We've done the 'Look!' bit (Bug Safari), which led on to the 'We should do one of those walks with a fungi fun guy' bit (Wilderness Woods), to the latest phase which is 'Someone's got a book!' This does also explain the speed of our excursion today. I did say HUNDREDS of mushrooms and toadstools. While the spotters peered and flicked through pages, the leaders would plough on which meant much yelling to get a fix on their coordinates. But gathering around a delicate lilac-coloured mushroom and discovering it's edible was always going to be worth it! A Lilac Bonnet was it? In one ear and out the other with me but when I'm in The Now I'm right keen. Also proper fairytale toadstools which I always get excited about and yet forget their name - Fly Agaric they are! I SHALL remember! And King Alfred's Cakes - so fab. Our lone Dad had his sparking kit and got it alight - I love this stuff!!! We also found another frog (always a draw), a badger or fox skull (not hanging from a tree like a warning or anything - that would be Devon), 2 abandoned shelters, a half-buried motorbike, lots of poo and plenty of happy children.
What would be the collective name be for a gang of mucky semi-wild gobby beautiful Home Ed kids?
There's a challenge.
And the collective name for a gang of mucky semi-wild gobby beautiful Home Ed parents?
Need a book to identify these species. And get the clever latin terms to boot.
Thinking caps on chaps.